4 Ways to Transition to a Natural Beauty Routine
Read the Labels
You're going to need to develop an unfamiliar new habit: turning a bottle or package over and reading the ingredient list—from top to bottom. That jumble of unpronounceable words mean something. When you go to the store, you must turn the product over, you must look at the ingredients. There is a lot of green-washing out there. The label might lie but the ingredients don't.
Learn What's What
If you're cutting out parabens, look for anything ending in the suffix (-paraben), which usually fall at the end of the list. Sulfates will also be clearly identifiable. Phthalates aren't as simple, they're usually lumped into the ingredient simply listed as "fragrance" (look for fragrance-free products or products using only naturally-derived fragrances). I recommend the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep ingredient database; a searchable site and app that rates how controversial an ingredient is based entirely on scientific studies and commissions. It also lists products the ingredient can be found in.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the ingredients in all the products you use every day. Just because something is called Tea Tree Oil, doesn't mean that's the only ingredient in there. Read the fine print of your most beloved products. You may be surprised (and not in a good way).
Yes, of course it's okay to use a body wash that isn't natural if it's your favorite body wash. Don't chuck out your favorite mascara, either. And please don't start judging your friends for swiping on a chemically loaded lipstick in front of you. There's a limit to both what natural products can do and a limit to how much you can put blame on certain ingredients. I’m not saying, “Your shampoo will give you cancer” because that's not the truth. But dermatologists are starting to see how low dose exposure to chemicals are adding up over time. So strike a balance; swap out some of the easier items (soaps, moisturizers, and scrubs) for natural alternatives while still enjoying a good 18 hour lipstick (My favorite beauty item...besides KOI Beauty Bars of course ;)) once in a while.